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Old March 23, 2013, 01:00 PM   #1
Mausermolt
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All around best 308 battle rifle

im in the market for a 308 battle rifle. ive entertained the idea of a CETME/HK91 clone, M1A, or FAL. does anyone have an opinion on what would be the "best bang for your buck" 308 battle rifle. i would like the option of a easily mounted scope. accuracy is one of my big sticklers so keep that in mind. and im not interested in spending 2K on a new rifle. between $500-1200 is my budget. pictures would be great also now hit me with your best shot!
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Old March 23, 2013, 01:22 PM   #2
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My first choice would be a SCAR-17, but from the ones you listed. FAL.

http://vickerstactical.com/tactical-tips/battle-rifles/
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Old March 23, 2013, 02:38 PM   #3
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... i would like the option of a easily mounted scope... between $500-1200 is my budget.
Good luck, maybe a used AR-10...
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Old March 23, 2013, 02:43 PM   #4
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one more thing. im not going to buy anything until prices come down and availability is back up. no point in paying an extra 500-1000$ on something just because i want it NOW! so i still have a few months to ponder
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Old March 23, 2013, 02:43 PM   #5
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The battle rifles that I can think of that fit your price range is a VEPR .308, a cheap FAL pre-panic, or a CETME.

I have not seen an AR10 in the last 8 months worth buying less than $1500.
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Old March 23, 2013, 02:46 PM   #6
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how is the accuracy of the VEPR? ive never even seen one in a store so i dont know if that is something i would like
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Old March 23, 2013, 04:40 PM   #7
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+1 ... I have read good reviews on the VEPR .308, just didn't think of them here.
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Old March 23, 2013, 09:00 PM   #8
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What exactly are you looking for???

Are you looking for a rifle that you could drive tacks with at 800m or just a battle rifle where you could easily hit a man size target at 300m?

I personally wanted a battle rifle so I got the DSA FAL carbine. I like the size and ergonomics of the rifle and with some upgrades (extended top railed cover, quad-forearm, extended selector lever, and L1A1 magazine release) I got what I wanted. I originally got a Aimpoint M4 for my AR but I think that I'm going to replace the base (lower quick release) and put it on my DSA carbine along with a twist off 3 or 4x magifier.

If you're looking for a tack driver then look at the Springfield M1A1 National Match but expect that you're going to pay as much for the scope (or more) as you do for the rifle if you want to be able to use the rifle to it full potential.
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Old March 23, 2013, 11:20 PM   #9
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i just sold my century arms fal, with rail cover for 800.00..i paid 700 in febuary
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Old March 24, 2013, 12:45 AM   #10
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Re: All around best 308 battle rifle

Really can't beat the AR-10. Much easier to control than the others. (There's a good article on them on the Gunsamerica blog, comparing several 308s). Kind of heavy in a full size version, but can be super accurate. Also available in a shorter carbine version that some might consider more of a "battle rifle." I bought one a couple of months ago for a screaming deal. (After factoring in the costs of the upgrades and extras that came with it, the gun itself was only $675!) Be patient and search the classifieds...
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Old March 24, 2013, 02:44 AM   #11
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I know nothing about FAL style rifles, but I do know a little about some of the other popular .308 battle rifles.

With that price range, I'd say the PTR-91 G.I. model is probably your best bet. Before the Newtown panic set in they were selling for around $900 new, and they are one of the better G3 clones out on the market.

If you save up a couple hundred more, you may be able to get yourself into one of Springfield's lower end M1A's. or, if you are looking for something more modern some of the lower tier .308 AR's from Bushmaster or DPMS also fall into that price range.
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Old March 24, 2013, 07:44 AM   #12
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Alright so i guess i need to clarify a few things.
i would like a rifle that will be AT LEAST 1.5 MOA. i know this bumps up my price range a bit but i can deal with that. i have a friend that has a M1A (not sure what model it looks perdy standard to me) and when we go to the 1000 yd range we can ring that gong all 20 rnds out of the mag with the open sights! granted the target is about the size of a minivan door painted white. but to me thats still a heck of a accomplishment. i want a rifle that has that capability. ive been looking on gunbroker and the FAL's have really caught my eye. the CIA rifles have an awesome pricepoint but....CAI dosent really have a great reputation that im willing to hang 1000$ on, unless someone can convince me otherwise?
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Old March 24, 2013, 07:53 AM   #13
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I would base my choice on what sight system I wanted.
If I was going to shoot irons, my choice would be an M1A. Very good sights and a long sight radius.
Optics, a 308 AR platform.
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Old March 24, 2013, 01:09 PM   #14
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tryin to keep it alive here...

i want the option of an accurate scoped rifle and have irons too. so a little more digging brought me to the FNAR...anyone have any experience with them? and is there a model with irons?
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Old March 24, 2013, 03:06 PM   #15
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IMHO, and assuming that full auto is not needed or is illegal, the M1A is the best. But the M14 was uncontrollable in full auto (unless the shooter looked like King Kong) and of course the M1A would be no difference.

Jim
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Old March 24, 2013, 03:09 PM   #16
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I have an FNAR and like it. None with irons as far as I know.
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Old March 24, 2013, 03:59 PM   #17
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i like to give completely unbiased opinions on questions such as these... everyone has their favorites, but ill look at the facts

for the HK91/cetme, this is a delayed blowback operated rifle which doesnt have an independant gas system to eject the cartridges.. so to aid in this, the chamber has to be fluted... when the cartridge expands on a fluted chamber itll leave marks in the brass lengthwise, and though its still safe to reload this brass as long as its not also damaged on extraction like what happens with a lot of G3 type rifles, itll still shorten the life of the brass, so if youre a reloader id look at the other options.. however, if you dont care about reloading i love the simplicity of delayed blowback actions

then theres the M1A, i love the design, huge fan of the garand and its ancestors, but entirely from facts i would point out the biggest factor on the M1As are cost... the cost of the initial rifle itself is rather high, and for an equivelant stock to a stock you might find on an SKS, mini-14, etc youd have to pay on average 4x as much, so the cost of accessories are pretty high, though if money is no object id go this route

then lastly is the FAL.. the FAL in itself isnt an overly complicated design either, using a tilting block vs rotating bolt, and FALs are known to be just as accurate as the other two and it tends to be easier to customize, add optics, etc and can go toe to toe with any modern rifle, and these can be found for around the same price of an HK91 (best one out there is probably the PTR family of rifles)

if i had to choose one, id choose the FAL for it being a decent price point and very expandable, customizable platform and i do have to factor in value, i never buy something unless i feel its well worth the cost and i feel the FAL offers the best price point and offers the most features (while still being relatively reloader-friendly)
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Old March 24, 2013, 06:06 PM   #18
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Ptr-91, fal, m1a
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Old March 24, 2013, 06:09 PM   #19
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I have an FNAR and like it. None with irons as far as I know.
I have the 16" model. Super reliable, stupid accurate, and a dang hoot to shoot. Oh no open sights though.
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Old March 24, 2013, 06:29 PM   #20
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You guys just keep kicking me back and forth on the fence! its down to 3 for me. FAL, PTR-91/G3, or a M1A. the M1A has a special place in my heart...but the $$ is going to sting a bit. im a reloader (dont buy any factory ammo at all) so the G3 doesn't grab me immediately....the FAL is starting to look better and better though. how are the reviews of the CAI frankin FAL's? and what kind of accuracy should one expect from and FAL?
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Old March 24, 2013, 09:01 PM   #21
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If you want accuracy, iron sights, and the ability to mount a scope then an AR-10 style rifle is probably the best bet. The railed uppers make it much easier to mount irons and scopes and a rifle with a stainless match barrel should provide plenty of accuracy.
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Old March 24, 2013, 09:29 PM   #22
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Fal. Right arm of the free world, baby!
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Old March 24, 2013, 09:42 PM   #23
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M1A!
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Old March 24, 2013, 10:41 PM   #24
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If you want pure accuracy, then the AR-10 is probably your best bet. The ones I've shot have been good shooters. They are heavy beasts though. The FAL is a good design, but don't expect MOA out of one. PTR-91 is a good, reliable rifle and overall would be a good choice, but don't expect sub MOA groups from this either. It will also beat the heck out of brass. My favorite is the M1A, but if you want sub-MOA accuracy I'd start with one of the Match rifles. Correct bedding will enhance the accuracy. Only drawback is that you're going to have to rub substantial coin on one. If you're going to scope it you're going to have to shell out around $300 or more for a good mount. I've shot all the above rifles and IMHO, the M1A is the best. It just feels right to me and the irons are superb.
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Old March 25, 2013, 11:02 PM   #25
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I've shot all the above rifles and IMHO, the M1A is the best. It just feels right to me and the irons are superb.
While I don't have any personal experience with the PTR rifles, I have owned an H&K 91, and currentlly have an FAL and an M1A.

If you are a reloader, forget the HK/PTR unless you want to lose a lot of brass. IT isn't the fluted chamber (although that probably does shorten case life a bit -the grooves left from the flutes kind of iron out with resizing) what kills your brass is getting wanged off the back edge of the ejection port, leaving a deep crease, and I felt seriously affecting the integrity of the case.

I got the "ejection port buffer" for my HK91, a hard rubber block riveted to a steel spring clip to snap over the reciever. IT changed the dangerously deep crease to a less deep dent.

Also, the HK safety lever is correctly positioned only for orang-utans. IT is too far forward of the pistol grip to be able to be used with the shooting hand, without shifting your grip 3/4 of the way around to reach it. It is, however well positioned for the European (German) concept of using the safety with the "off" hand.

AND, other things I find less then excellent about the design is the lack of any way to shut the action, other than spring pressure. And the two pins removed for takedown are just that, completely removed, and so more easily lost than a captive pin would be.

Trigger pull on my gun was ok, nothing great, and while the diopter sights were easy to use, I was not able to be very precise. Minute of man, easy. Minute of angle? no.

ALso, I found the rifle to be picky about ammo. For the delayed blowback system to work right, the brass has to be at a certain point between "hard" and "soft". European surplus ammo worked well. US surplus ammo, not as well. and US commercial ammo was ...iffy. One thing you can do on the range, if your ammo isn't working well is a shot of oil in the mag. Usually that helps, but oiled ammo should be shot, not stored.

And last, the HK weighs the same as my M1A, but is about 6 inches shorter. Recoil is mild, but its a lot to pack around.

The FAL is a good rifle, a tad heavy, some versions are rather long. Sights are "good enough", but not great on most versions. Trigger on mine is again, fair. The models with the slim forearm get rather hot to hold quite fast, one magazine rapidly fired (not as fast as possible, but aimed, spaced shots) and the forearm is quite warm. A second mag makes it difficult to hold.

Also one has to be sure if one has an "inch pattern" or "metric" FAL, and use the proper magazine. I'm told the "wrong" one won't work.

My personal favorite is the M1A. Part of that stems from the fact that I was the last group the Army trained on the M14 as a Small Arms Repairman. Another part is that the rifle fits me best, and I shoot it well. Trigger on mine is excellent, after the standard take up. Sights on mine are actually the old Garand T-bar rear sight, and like the rest of the rifle, is capable of more than I am, these days.

The M1A isn't new, it isn't chic, I for one cannot stand the exotic stocks that are so much in vogue these days. IT is an honest rifle, not the best thing for CQB (and never meant to be). Reloader friendly (as much as any auto loader is), accurate as most shooters, and better than some. I don't compete in matches, my old rack grade M1A shoots as well, or better than I do these days, and I never felt the need for a "Match" version, especially at the cost now days.

I wouldn't buy an M1A today, they cost too much, and I already have one.

I've had my M1A for a while, and its not going anywhere. To give you an idea, I paid $500 for the rifle, with a spare stock, scope mount, and scope.

The M1A doesn't scope well with a standard stock, although a good mount is availabe, its not cheap. OF course, nothing is cheap these days. HK makes a mount for the 91, but again, not even remotely cheap. And you can scope the FAL, but I've never done so. The standard stocks are all two low to allow a good cheek weld, so using a scope is more difficult, and a different stock, or some kind of cheekpiece is best, which also adds to the expense.

A couple other "nice" things about the M1A, if needed, you can ensure the bolt closes, and has a generous handle to open it, as well. And, if you really think you need to, you can recock the gun without opening the action.

Now that I'm within visible range of retirement age, the open sights are not as friendly to me as they were a couple decades ago, but I still manage passably well, without a scope. And yes, I am biased for the M1A.
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